Well according to one group of feminist scientists it is!? In today’s The Telegraph online this article explains how a group of women researchers from the ‘Feminist society for the Psychology of Women’ studied ‘sexist and non-sexist incidents’ in America and Germany and reached the conclusion that chivalry is benevolent sexism…
I don’t want to get opinionated here but I am female so I do have my own take on this study and to be honest I think the whole thing is nonsense!So, yes this will get opinionated… Putting aside the actual study and it’s results and conclusions for a moment, I was actually quite annoyed reading this article (as a scientist, female and student) that once again money has been ploughed in to a study of something that has little use, value or contribution to ‘anything’ in modern society! Who are these people who keep giving money for pathetic studies such as this and other silly things such as ‘Sword swallowing and it’s side-effects‘? (Apologies to the authors of these studies but seriously there are far more important things to worry about in the world than whether holding a door open for a woman is sexist or not and what the side-effects of sword swallowing are!? I’m sure you’ll all agree???)
Ok, so back to the article. The article states that according to the study things such as ‘helping a woman choose the right computer’ and ‘offering to do the driving on a long distance journey’ are ‘benevolent sexism’ – hang on a minute, damn my other half must be a right sexist pig if this is the case! For starters, I wouldn’t dream of buying a computer without his help, he is a computer network engineer after all – maybe if he wasn’t I may not take his help, I may know more than him about what I need, but just by offering to help these researchers would burn him at the stake of sexism! hmmm And as for ‘offering to drive on a long distance journey’ – if I were a long-distance driver then maybe I may not want this, but actually I’m pretty crap at driving for long distances and he knows this so if he didn’t offer I am more likely to be offended than if he did.
Jeez, does all this just mean that I’m a promoter of sexism? I like to think of myself as equality and fairness minded!
Then there’s referring to a group of men and women as ‘guys’ – ohh bugger I do this all the time, I’m sexist against women myself – pah!
So ‘chivalrous’ behaviour is ‘benevolent sexism’… lets examine these words…
‘Chivalry/Chivalrous‘ – definitions: courtesy towards women/Characterized by consideration and courtesy, especially toward women (obviously ‘historical’ in origin and relating to the qualities of a knight)
Benevolent/Sexism – (the two do not come with a combined definition) individual definitions: Characterized by or suggestive of doing good/Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
Okay, so let me get this right in other words ‘courtesy towards women’ is ‘doing good, discrimination’ – surely that alone is a contradiction of terms? This whole study has to be some kind of joke right?
But then the authors of the original article about the research (in the Psychology of Women Quarterly – feminist and scientific journal) claim that both men and women are to blame for encouraging and endorsing such ‘sexist’ behaviour, thus we all reinforce ‘inequality and injustice’ – well if this is sexism then I for one won’t be putting in any effort to stamp it out!
Offering to help another person (regardless of gender, or any other ‘difference’ for that matter!) should never be considered inappropriate or ‘wrong’ – let alone sexist or in any other way ‘discriminatory’ or we will become a society of arrogant, rude individuals who only think of our selves.
I say ‘long live chivalry’ and women can be chivalrous too, how’s that for sexist!? I’ll remember this next time I hold a door open for a guy laiden with shopping bags… they’ll probably belong to his ‘little lady’ walking six paces behind him like she should! (joke!!) 😛
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only and in no way relate to any person’s living or dead, or represent the views of any organisation
- Is chivalry sexist? (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Chivalry is actually ‘benevolent sexism’, feminists conclude (politics.ie)
- Chivalry is not sexist (telegraph.co.uk)
- Chivalry and Violence: Part I (alexlevi.com)
- So what if a woman hits a man? (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Daily Acts of Sexism Go Unnoticed by Men, Women (sciencedaily.com)
- Blog Round Up – The Three C’s and BPD (showard76.wordpress.com)